On Oct. 12 Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church honored four individuals with the Kenneth O. Jones Distinguished Service Award. We offer our congratulations, and gratitude, to this year's recipients.
Bettye Bradley began attending Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1990. After meeting her for the first time, Associate Pastor Ken Jones jotted three words on her potential-new-member card: "Very friendly. Methodist." She eventually transferred her membership from Walnut Hill United Methodist Church in Dallas and joined Fifth Avenue in the spring of 1993. Immediately, she plunged into the heart of the church’s volunteer life.
Bettye has been an integral part of Meals on Heels for the past 25 years. She has served one term as a Deacon and three terms on Session, including a year as Clerk. In 2014 she chaired the Same-Sex Marriage Task Force, which led the congregation in a season of study and discernment about a contentious issue in the Presbyterian Church (USA). The task force brought forward a successful recommendation to the Session that the church support the PCUSA in its efforts to achieve marriage equality.
In presenting the award, Senior Pastor Scott Black Johnston said, "Her leadership, political savvy and personal warmth have proven an invaluable asset to this community. Never one to seek out the spotlight, she always brings out the best in those around her."
Lowell Lamb and his wife, Sandy (a recipient of the Jones Award in 2014), have been members of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church since 1978. The couple met while both were working in the financial services industry, and together their professional acumen has paid valuable dividends to the church.
Over the past 40 years Lowell has served three terms on Session and one term as a Deacon. He has chaired the Nominating Committee, served on the Benevolence Committee, and was vice chair of the committee that planed the congregation's 200th anniversary celebration in 2008. He has also served on three Pastor Nominating Committees, which led to calls for the Rev. Randy Weber, the Rev. Dr. Oscar McCloud and the Rev. Greg Cootsona. Most recently he has been serving both this church and the New York City Presbytery as a member of the Committee on Ministry. Here he has skillfully guided many churches in the important work of calling new pastors.
"Lowell Lamb has shown not only a tremendous amount of commitment, but tremendous humility, and an unbelievable warmth that only comes from his love of God and God’s people," said Associate Pastor Werner Ramirez.
Mary Lovci arrived at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1997 as a young single woman. Over two decades of membership, she married, raised two children, and deepened her involvement in the church each step of the way.
Mary has served as an usher and greeter, Sunday School teacher and member of the Chancel Choir. She has led the junior high youth group, chaired the former Kindership Committee and later the Family Ministries Committee, and has volunteered with Vacation Bible School every August for more than a decade. She served on the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee that called Charlene Han Powell and Kate Dunn to full-time ministry at Fifth Avenue, and chaired the search committees that have called every director of Family Ministries for the last eight years, including Aram Bae, Nathan Are and Jaime Staehle.
"She is described by so many of us as a bright light in our community," Executive Pastor Charlene Han Powell said. "She is one of the reasons I am working at this church, and one of the reasons so many people throughout the years have felt welcome and accepted here."
Mary Ng became a member of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1992, and jumped right into service as an usher and greeter, a new member angel, and a volunteer with the Center for Christian Studies. Having a heart for mission, she joined mission teams to Egypt and the Philippines, and has continued to support the work of our mission partners there ever since.
Mary has served as both a Deacon and an Elder, and as a member of the Associate Pastor Nominating Committee that called the Rev. Kate Dunn and the Rev. Dr. Charlene Han Powell as associate pastors. Behind the scenes, she faithfully visits homebound members, serves on the executive board of the Women's Association, volunteers with our annual FAPC Serves day of service, and works every Monday morning with the church finance staff, counting and depositing the Sunday offering.
"Competent, funny, adventurous, unassuming and kind, Mary brings a spirit of simple Christian love and humility to all that she does," said Associate Pastor Kate Dunn in presenting her award.
List of Kenneth O. Jones Distinguished Service Award Honorees
The Kenneth O. Jones Distinguished Service Awards were created in 2011 to celebrate officers of the church and honor select individuals for their exemplary records of service. With the addition of the 2018 honorees, the award has been presented to 32 individuals.
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